This is the third volume of the ‘Cthulhu Unbound’ series and the tales get more unusual and horrifying, if that’s humanly possible. Of course, humans are not the ones responsible for the events taking place, rather, inspired by the writings of HP Lovecraft, it’s the creatures of cosmic terror wreaking havoc that crawl through the pages in your mind. Don’t read this late at night unless you want a restless sleep of disturbed nightmares.
The first thing that comes to mind about the four stories in the collection is that they are all very readable. Different writing styles perhaps but the common factor between them is that the words flow off the pages. The first story, ‘Unseen Empire’ by Cody Goodfellow, is set in the year 1900. A half-Comanche Indian bounty hunter is looking for someone or something that’s not quite human. In a desperate search that takes him through the dangers of the Wild West, he ends up somewhere in Oklahoma, in the Badlands, and into a subterranean city where reason and logic are abandoned for madness, cruelty and despair. Maybe going into the city was a bad move.
DL Snell’s ‘Mirrorrorrim’, palindrome notwithstanding, may be a reflective story on human behaviour or more possibly non-human behaviour. Justin was a complicated individual with a predilection for self-harming but everything seemed to be okay when he went to a psychiatrist and joined a self-help group. Then matters went downhill rather quickly, so much downhill that they ended way down in the primeval regions. Justin had something inside that was waiting to get out. Maybe that’s why he was a self-harmer?
Tim Curran’s ‘Nemesis Theory’, is set in a top security prison full of the worst type of criminals imaginable. Coogan was one such customer of this establishment but he wasn’t happy for more reasons than you could imagine. People were disappearing but were they getting out or actually vanishing? The guards and other prisoners were all fearful of a certain inmate, one who had come from a community where everyone had committed suicide. Strange things happened when you looked at this man, imaginations of slithering snakes, maggots and things from the depths of hell. Coogan was afraid but what if he had to share a cell with this man?
‘The R’lyeh Singularity’ by David Conyers and Brian M Sammons is a fast action adventure story which takes you all over the world and other places you would not want to set foot in. Special agents Jordan and our old friend Harrison Peel, the latter familiar to readers of books by David Conyers, are there to find out what’s going on when biological weapons threaten mankind. Starting off in Iraq, they find to their horror that children have been experimented on, their veins injected with an unknown substance which turns them into physical monsters. It’s later discovered that a large company is involved in very unethical research using something obtained from the depths of the ocean. Our agents, at great risk, set out to combat this menace.
There we have it, for readers of Cthulhu Mythos and anyone else for that matter who likes good stories, this book is definitely one to buy. It should be available at Amazon wherever and whatever you are on the planet.
Finally, when thinking about HP Lovecraft and the genre he inspired, I’m left wondering as to the real origin of Cthulhu Mythos. We tend to imagine dark forces of cosmic origin, stamping their feet on our civilisation, monsters from the deep, unfeeling and remorseless. However, I sometimes wonder if this is not a good description of humans as they spread out over the planet, wiping out other species without thought, changing the world to suit the needs with aspirations of one day migrate out into space. Maybe we are the origins of Cthulhu Mythos?
(pub: Permuted Press. Ebook: Amazon Kindle: Price £ 3.18 (UK). Also Trade Paperback Coming Soon)
check out website: www.permutedpress.com/